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Knee pain can be debilitating and can greatly affect your quality of life. If you have knee pain, you may ask yourself “What doctor to see for knee pain” . But, with so many healthcare providers out there, how do you know which doctor is most qualified and up to the task? This comprehensive guide will help show you the way. You’ll learn about various types of doctors who specialize in treating knee problems, as well as factors to consider and tips for finding the most suitable specialist for your needs.

Key Takeway: If your knee pain comes from a underlying health condition like an autoimmune disease, arthritis, your pain keeps you up at night, or it’s red, swollen, and inflammed you should see your family physician. If you hurt your knee while twisting, bending down, or at a sporting event you should see a physical therapist

Determine the Type of Doctor You Need

The first step in finding a doctor for knee pain is to determine the type of doctor you need. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to consult a primary care physician, an orthopedic surgeon or a physical therapist.

A physician will diagnose your condition and recommend the necessary treatment.

The orthopedic surgeon will help you with surgeries or other invasive procedures, while the physical therapist will help you with exercises and rehabilitation to restore your knee’s function.

Research Potential Doctors

Once you have determined the type of doctor you need, the next step is to research potential doctors.

You can easily do this by checking online directories or asking for recommendations from your friends or family members. Take note of the doctor’s credentials, their experience with knee pain, and their location.

Checking online reviews and testimonials can also help you understand their success rate in treating knee pain.

Check Their Credentials

When researching potential doctors, it is essential to check their credentials. Make sure that the doctor is licensed in your province or state and is board-certified in their specialty.

You can also check their educational qualifications and hospital affiliations to understand their level of expertise in treating knee pain.

Consider Their Experience

Another critical factor to consider when finding the right doctor for knee pain is their experience. It is not only essential to check how long they have been practicing, but also how many patients they have treated with knee pain.

The more experience a doctor has with knee pain, the more likely they are to accurately diagnose and treat your condition.

Evaluate Their Communication Style

The right doctor for knee pain will communicate with you in a way that makes you feel comfortable and understood.

During your first consultation, pay attention to how the doctor explains your condition and the treatment plan. If they use medical jargon that you don’t understand, ask them to explain it in simpler terms.

Additionally, a good doctor will take the time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions in detail.

Symptoms of Knee Pain

Knee pain can be a complex issue that may arise from a variety of underlying causes. In order to determine the right treatment approach for your knee pain, it’s important to determine the specific symptoms you’re experiencing.

Here are some common symptoms associated with knee pain:


If your knee appears swollen or feels puffy to the touch, this may indicate that there is an underlying issue within the joint. Swelling may be accompanied by stiffness and difficulty moving the knee.


Stiffness in the knee may be caused by inflammation, an injury, or a chronic condition like arthritis. This stiffness may make it difficult to bend the knee or stand up after sitting for long periods of time.


If your knee feels unstable or unsteady, this may indicate a problem with the ligaments or cartilage within the joint. Instability may cause your knee to give out or buckle unexpectedly.

Clicking or popping:

If you have knee clicking or hear popping sound, this may be indicative of a joint issue. It’s important to note that not all clicking or popping sounds are problematic, but it’s best to get it checked out to rule out any potential issues.


Of course, the most obvious symptom associated with knee pain is discomfort or pain. Pain may range from a dull ache to a sharp, shooting pain, and may be constant or intermittent.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a qualified doctor who specializes in knee pain. A medical professional will perform a thorough evaluation and may order tests like x-rays or MRIs to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.

Key Takeway: Recognizing the symptoms associated with knee pain is crucial for determining the appropriate treatment plan. If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, it’s important to make as many notes as possible and bring them to your healthcare professional.

Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain can be caused by many factors, ranging from injury to underlying medical conditions. Here are some of the most common causes:


Injuries are a common cause of knee pain. These can occur from a sudden impact or twisting of the knee, or from repetitive motion. Some common knee injuries include:

ACL injury: A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can cause instability and pain in the knee. It usually occurs from a sudden twisting or hyperextension of the knee.

Meniscal tear: A tear in the meniscus, which acts as a shock absorber in the knee, can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Patellar tendinitis: Inflammation of the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone, can cause pain and tenderness in the knee.


Arthritis can cause chronic knee pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

The two most common types of knee arthritis are:

Osteoarthritis: This is a degenerative joint disease that occurs from wear and tear on the knee joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the knee joint.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as gout, pseudogout, and infections can also cause knee pain.

Gout: A buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint can cause sudden and intense pain in the knee.

Pseudogout: A buildup of calcium crystals in the joint can cause pain and inflammation.

Infections: Bacterial or viral infections in the knee joint can cause swelling, redness, and pain.

What doctor to see for knee pain? The different types

If you’re experiencing knee pain, it’s important to find the right doctor who can help you find relief.

This can be overwhelming, as there are several types of doctors who can treat knee pain. In this section, we’ll explore the different types of doctors you might come across when looking for treatment:

Orthopedic Surgeons

Orthopedic surgeons specialize in diagnosing, managing, and treating conditions affecting bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. They are the experts in treating knee pain caused by injuries, such as ligament tears, meniscus tears, or fractures. They may also recommend knee replacement surgery when conservative measures fail to relieve the pain.


Rheumatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other diseases affecting the joints, muscles, and bones. They are experts in treating knee pain caused by inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Physical Therapists

Physical therapists help patients manage their knee pain through exercises and stretches that improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. They can also help reduce pain and inflammation through modalities such as ice, heat, and electrical stimulation.

Sports Medicine Specialist

Sports medicine specialists are doctors who specialize in treating athletes and sports-related injuries. They can treat knee pain caused by overuse injuries or accidents in athletes of all levels.

Best Knee Pain Relief Solutions

There are several ways to reduce knee pain at home. Resting for a day or two may be all that is needed for minor injuries, while more severe damage may require a longer recovery time.

To reduce swelling, try propping the injured leg on pillows or sitting in a recliner. Applying ice to the knee for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day can reduce both pain (but slows realing – read are alternative to RICE method why). After the first 48 to 72 hours, heat therapy can be used to ease pain. A warm bath, heating pad, or warm towel can be used for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day.

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for knee pain.

Strengthening the muscles around the knee will make it more stable and can relieve pain by improving the way the joint moves and functions. Stretching to increase flexibility can also help the joint function properly.

Finding an exercise program that is safe for the knees and sticking with it is recommended. If unsure which motions are safe or how much to do, consult a doctor or physical therapist.

Alternative medicine such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, and CBD oil may also help relieve knee pain.

Using a knee support, dietary measures, and weight management can also help manage knee pain at home.

Avoiding low chairs and couches that cause the knees to bend more than 90 degrees can minimize knee strain. Over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDs can also help relieve knee pain. Massage, including self-massage, may also relieve knee pain

Here are some fast ways to get knee pain down:

How to Prepare for Your Doctor’s Appointment

Preparing for your doctor’s appointment is crucial to ensure you make the most out of your visit. By being organized and coming prepared, you can help your doctor accurately diagnose and find the best treatment for your knee pain.

Here are some steps you can take to prepare for your appointment:

Make a list of your symptoms

Before your appointment, write down any symptoms you are experiencing, even if they seem unrelated to your knee pain. This can help your doctor better understand your overall health and make a more accurate diagnosis.

List any medications or supplements you are taking

Make a list of all the medications and supplements you are currently taking, including the dosage and frequency. This will help your doctor avoid prescribing medications that may interact negatively with what you’re already taking.

Bring any relevant medical records or imaging results

If you have any previous medical records or imaging results relevant to your knee pain, make sure you bring them to your appointment. This can give your doctor a better understanding of your condition and help them come up with the best treatment plan for you.

Write down your questions for your doctor

Jot down any questions you may have for your doctor ahead of time so you don’t forget them during the appointment. This can help you gain a better understanding of your condition and the treatment options available to you.

Wear appropriate clothing

To help your doctor better assess your knee pain, consider wearing loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy movement and exposes the affected joint.

By following these simple steps, you can feel more in control of your appointment and optimize your chances of getting the best possible treatment for your knee pain.


Finding the right doctor for knee pain can be a daunting task, but it’s crucial to get the relief you need. By following the tips outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best doctor for your knee pain.

Don’t suffer in silence any longer – take action today and schedule an appointment with a qualified doctor. Your knees will thank you! Remember to take your health seriously and make the effort to find a trusted and experienced doctor who can help you live life to the fullest.

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